…As Comptroller Ejibunu vows to make remaining 2023 tough for smugglers
In a significant operation aimed at curbing illegal activities and safeguarding the nation’s economy, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service has announced the seizure of a substantial cache of items. These 14,574 seizures, valued at N1,241,777,700 in duty paid value, includes 17 vehicles, foreign parboiled rice, Indian hemp, and other illicit goods.
Acting Controller of the FOU Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, disclosed these findings during a press briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday. The operation’s primary goal is to prevent revenue loss due to various infractions such as under-valuation, under-payments, and incorrect classification. Notably, the unit successfully collected N115,456,534.94 following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters.
Ejibunu provided a detailed breakdown of the seized items, emphasizing the magnitude of their efforts. “We were able to seize a total of 7,381 units of 50kg foreign parboiled rice from smugglers, equivalent to nearly thirteen trailer loads of rice,” he revealed.
Additionally, the customs unit confiscated seventeen vehicles from smugglers attempting to evade duty payments.
The Acting Controller further noted the interception of 593 jerrycans, totaling 14,825 liters of premium motor spirit (petrol). Due to the volatile nature of this product, it was safely disposed of in accordance with established procedures.
Other seizures included 657 pieces of used tires, 167 parcels of Indian hemp (equivalent to 202 kilograms), 39 bales of second-hand clothing, 100 packs of tomato ketchup, 4 units of used motorcycles, 600 cartons of GIV soap, and 730 sacks of hide and skin concealed in a 1×40 container, totaling 5,033 pieces.
Ejibunu called on well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to continue supporting the FOU Zone ‘A’ with credible information that can aid in the fight against economic sabotage. The Acting Controller emphasized that their commitment to tackling smuggling and illegal activities remains unwavering.
Nine suspects have been arrested in connection with these seizures, with the dedicated efforts of seizing officers were AC Adewale Egunjobi and SC Johnzmaco Akabuisi were instrumental in this operation.
Ejibunu highlighted the importance of cooperation and synergy in combating such activities, reinforcing the unit’s determination to make life difficult for smugglers during the upcoming yuletide season and beyond.
He also lauded the Intelligence Unit of the Command for their excellent work, emphasizing the importance of consuming local products to strengthen the nation’s economy.
The FOU Zone ‘A’ remains resolute in its mission to protect Nigeria’s economic interests and ensure that the law is upheld.